Dessert Recipes

Here is a collection of the very best Dessert Recipes! Whether you’re looking for a Layer Cake for a birthday celebration, a decadent Brownie, or rich Chocolate Truffles to wow your party guests, you’re bound to find your new favorite dessert recipe below.

How to Make the BEST Desserts

Here are my most popular baking science articles that will teach you must-have skills you can apply to just about any dessert recipe for the best taste and texture.

Tessa’s Top Baking Tips

Measure your flour correctly

The easiest ingredient to mis-measure is flour. That’s because it can be so easily compacted into a container or measuring cup without you even realizing. Too much flour results in dry, dense, and even crumbly desserts. Check out my article for How to Measure Flour here.

Use the correct kind of baking pan

I highly recommend avoiding dark colored nonstick pans as well as most glass pans. I use light colored aluminum for just about everything!

Dark metal pans will dry out the edges of your desserts, often before the center can cook through. Glass or ceramic baking pans will take LONGER to bake most desserts, and can even result in gummy textures.

If you’re curious about all my recommended baking equipment and tools, check out my Magic of Baking Course.

Your dessert will NOT turn out the same if you make substitutions

Here at Handle the Heat, we believe butter, eggs, flour, and sugar are magical specimens and should never be replaced (unless medically necessary due to an allergy/intolerance).

Dairy ingredients like cream cheese and sour cream are also difficult to substitute.

We highly recommend making all recipes exactly as written. If you do decide to substitute an ingredient(s), just know the final result won’t be the same in texture and/or flavor.

Get Our Best Buttercream Cheatsheet

This *free* printable PDF contains my best buttercream recipe, my favorite piping tips, and lots more!

How to Bake Dessert Recipes

Step into my kitchen and bake these easy dessert recipes step-by-step with me.

YouTube video
YouTube video

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YouTube video

Get Our Make-Ahead Baking Guide!

Download our FREE Make-Ahead Baking Guide to learn how to prepare recipes ahead of time!

All Dessert Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

How to keep cookies soft:

To keep your baked cookies soft, you can add a piece of bread or tortilla on the top and bottom of the container (not touching the cookies) a day or two after baking them, or whenever you find the texture starting to harden. The moisture from the bread will migrate to your cookies, making them soft and chewy again.

A tortilla is a new favorite of mine because it takes up much less room than a slice of bread and still offers the same results. Not to mention it fits into a round cookie tin pretty perfectly.

What are most people’s favorite dessert?

From my own personal experience, I’ve found cookies to be the most popular dessert among my friends and family.
Cookies are generally easy to make, can be customized in flavor and texture easily, and are simple to serve.

Why are my chocolate chip cookies flat?

Be sure your butter is at a cool room temperature before beating with your sugar. It shouldn’t be greasy or overly soft, otherwise it’ll melt and spread the cookies too much.
The warmer your cookie dough is when it enters the oven, the thinner and flatter your cookies will be. To prevent flat cookies, try freezing your balls of cookie dough while your oven preheats. Learn more about how to bake THICK cookies here.
Better yet, refrigerate your cookie dough for 24 to 48 hours. This ‘marination’ process will transform your cookies by making them thicker, chewier, and more flavorful! Plus, this is a perfect way to make your cookies ahead of time. Read more about the magic of chilling your cookie dough here. NOTE: chilling is OPTIONAL for this recipe but will enhance your cookies!

Are there high altitude adjustments for baking cake?

If you’re baking at a high altitude, you’ll probably want to make some adjustments to this recipe. Since I live at sea level, I can only recommend following the advice in King Arthur Baking Company’s guide here.

How to store brownies:

Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. They’ll become more like a thick fudge in the fridge in the most delicious way. You can also reheat the brownies in the microwave until they’re gooey again, if you’d prefer.

How to make pie crust:

I highly recommend checking out my Best Ever Pie Crust recipe and reading through all the tips in the pink tip box. This recipe is practically foolproof, so it’s perfect if you’re intimidated by making it homemade.
Don’t believe me? Here’s what one of our readers has to say: “I’ve been baking for 20 years. I’m also a chemist. Pie crust has been my NEMESIS. I swore it off on my last attempt 4 years ago, but for some reason I wanted to try this. And it WORKED!!! Holy crap!! It was so easy to work with and actually tasted good. FINALLY!

How to make cake ahead of time:

Wrap unfrosted and cooled cake layers completely in several layers of plastic wrap. Place inside a freezer bag. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Don’t defrost at room temperature or you will end up with mushy, sticky cake.

How to store cake:

Since frosting acts as a protective seal that keeps the cake moist and fresh, frosted cakes can be stored at a cool and dry room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover with a cake keeper to keep the frosting intact. Don’t use plastic wrap, which will not only ruin your frosting but also create condensation that can cause the frosting to separate.
I personally don’t worry about keeping frosting at room temperature since the sugar acts as a preservative, but if this concerns you then just keep the cake in the fridge.

How to get moist brownies:

Be VERY CAREFUL about measuring your flour and cocoa powder correctly. Use the spoon and level method, or even better, weigh your ingredients to ensure accuracy. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up with dry brownies. See my full article on how to measure flour correctly here (applies to the cocoa too).